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Shmuck of the Week

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They are supposed to protect us from the real scumbags, and they build their reputations – and their egos – doing it in grand style. We are supposed to admire them, to honor them and to hold them up as pillars of credibility when others fail.

But what happens when these pillars, guys like Chief Justice Edward “Naughty” Nottingham and now-former New York Governor Eliot “Client 9” Spitzer – start to crumble themselves?

They end up in this column.

It was revealed this week by 9News that Nottingham, who famously oversaw the insider-trading trial of former Qwest CEO Joe Nacchio, is being investigated – again – after his name and number appeared on a list of clients associated with an escort service called Denver Players or Denver Sugar that police say doubled as a prostitution ring. Nottingham was previously investigated in relation to conduct at the Diamond Cabaret, a Denver strip club.

Spitzer, who also has a Qwest connection, resigned Wednesday after being connected to a similarly high-priced escort/prostitution service. Back in the early 2000s, when he was still just New York District Attorney Eliot Spitzer, crusading against corporate con artists and big-business bad guys, he locked horns with Denver-based Qwest (as well as Denver’s Invesco Funds) accusing the firm of violating securities laws in his state. He eventually settled with Nacchio and Qwest founder Phil Anschutz for a combined $4.8 million.

Thanks guys, and especially you, Judge Nottingham, for tossing your credibility down the toilet and making Nacchio – who truly screwed this town -- look less slimy by comparison.

To see last week's Shmuck, click here.

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